Damien Jurado, JBM | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Damien Jurado, JBM Recommended Member Picks Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Wed., May 16, 8 p.m. 2012

On the new Maraqopa (Secretly Canadian), Damien Jurado continues his collaboration with producer Richard Swift, and right from the opening track, "Nothing Is the News," I'm glad to see them back. The song is like nothing I've heard from Jurado—it's got elements of psych and classic rock, with heady Santana–like solo jamming and a trippy fog of organ and vocal nah-nah-nah-nahs—but at the same time, you can hear how it grew out of 2010's Saint Bartlett, the singer-songwriter's first collabo with Swift. Like its predecessor, Maraqopa plays with Jurado's folk-rock palette, loosening the tightly wound hooks and broadening the sound—yes, extra coats of reverb usually help when you're going for bigger and grander, but the two of them also add a new layer of peculiarity and even more somberness (if you can imagine) by experimenting with noise and nontraditional melody. "Life Away From the Garden" uses a children's backing chorus to create a spooky echo to Jurado's lead vocal, and "Working Titles"—which includes the great lyric "In the end you're a fool like the journalist, who turns what you sing into business"—is practically soul, right down to the rich backups and swaggering drumbeat. I was already all the way on board with Jurado after 2008's pop-skewing Caught in the Trees, but Saint Bartlett and Maraqopa have made me curious to see where he (and Swift) go next. —Kevin Warwick JBM opens.

Price: $14

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